How Matt Reeves’ “BatVerse” Might Coexist Within the New DC Universe
Writer/director Matt Reeves’ The Batman was a thing of dark beauty. A street-level, neo-noir detective story that started with a supervillain’s brutal crime and swept us right into the world of Batman (Robert Pattinson) as he learns the tricks of a trade he’d invented in the second year of his vigilantism. There had never been a Batman movie quite like it, and the Gotham that Reeves and his stellar cast and crew created resonated with fans and critics alike. With a great showing, even in the midst of a pandemic, Warner Bros. greenlit a sequel. Reeves had plans for one or more series, too, specifically one centered on the Penguin (Colin Farrell) and his rise to power after the events in The Batman.
A lot has changed since then, however. Warner Bros. merged with Discovery, and James Gunn and Peter Safran were brought in to lead DC Films in a new direction. Their remit is sweeping and challenging; to bring all DC content across all platforms (film, television, games) into a single cohesive, unified narrative. This meant some hard choices would have to be made, and we’ve already seen a few of them—Wonder Woman 3 is no more, and Henry Cavill isn’t returning as Superman—with more to come.
Happily, it sounds as if those changes won’t include scrapping the incredible world that Reeves has built over in his dark, dangerous corner of the DC. Speaking with Collider, Reeves has suggested that the sequel remains firmly in the works and that he’ll be meeting with Gunn and Safran to discuss the BatVerse he’s been building with his collaborators.
“They [Gunn and Safran] have been great,” Reeves told Collider. “We’re actually supposed to meet in the next few weeks because they want to talk to me about the broad plan, and then they want to hear the BatVerse plan. We’re just getting together to talk about all of that. Look, I’m excited to hear what they’re going to do. The BatVerse thing, as James has said, and as Peter has said, is kind of its own thing they’re letting us do.”
Considering that Gunn and Safran are presenting a 10-year plan that maps out their vision for the entire DC Universe, you have to wonder how Reeves’ BatVerse will be slotted into that. One likely solution is that at that meeting, they’ll all start to align their visions so that the BatVerse makes sense within the larger world and can thrive. Or, that the BatVerse will exist in parallel, an “Elseworlds” approach that lets storylines exist on multiple timelines so long as they won’t meddle with the overarching narrative that Gunn and Safran are building.
“I had this dream for the way I wanted that to play out, and that’s part of what I’m going to be talking to them about in a few weeks,” Reeves continued. “They’re going to be talking to me about what they’re doing in their ten-year plan or certainly what’s in the near future as well so that we can understand that we’re not—it’s air traffic control—we don’t want to be crashing into each other. We want to support each other. I’m super excited. I’m really excited to hear about what they’re doing and to be working with them. It’s going to be cool.”
Considering just how well-realized The Batman was and how taken by it both fans and critics were, it doesn’t feel like wishful thinking to believe that the sequel, and the larger BatVerse, will exist within this new DC.
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Featured image: Caption: (L-r) ZOË KRAVITZ as Selina Kyle and ROBERT PATTINSON as Batman and in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics